San Francisco, January 31, 2014—
WE REALLY DO LIKE this place. The room is bright and airy; the banquette is very comfortable, the staff is pert and bright and personable and chic, and the food is delicious.
The menu isn't long, and runs to pastries and sandwiches, but the food is delicious, attractive, and enterprising; and the patisserie very authentic, running to the eastern side of the Danube. The wine list is short but expressive. Oh, and the coffee is good too. What more do you want?
I started by nibbling a Teresa Oranovski, which is a bacon-and-cheese scone, chewy and savory; and moved on to a wild boar sausage, rather lean and piquant with paprika, served with sauerkraut, apple butter, and roasted fingerling potatoes.
Dessert: Linzertorte, as perfect a pastry as there is, and the Russian honey cake this place is famous for, a sort of blond Dobos torte, many layers of Genoise and honey cream. Fortunately I was able to share them.
Bodrog Bormuhely Löszbor, 2011 (Hárslevelu-furmint)
Strehn Deutschkreuz 2011 (Blaufränkish)
•20th Century Cafe, 198 Gough Street, San Francisco, California; 415-621-2380